‘Westworld’ Actor James Marsden in Talks for ‘The Stand’ at CBS All Access

The ‘Westworld‘ actor James Marsden is in talks to join the cast of the limited series ‘The Stand’ from CBS All Access, reports Deadline. Marsden will reportedly play the lead role of Stu Redman in the series which is an adaptation of the 1978 classic horror novel of the same name by Stephen King. The 10-episode series will be directed by Josh Boone, who is known for ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ from a screenplay he co-wrote with Ben Cavell of ‘Homeland’ fame.

‘The Stand’ is a tale of the dual between good and evil in the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic epidemic outbreak that engulfs the entire world. The society is on the verge of total collapse after a strain of influenza has been mistakenly released into the atmosphere. It eventually transforms into a lethal biological weapon that kills the majority of the human race on Earth.

The novel introduced the recurring character of Randall Flagg in King’s works. Described as “an accomplished sorcerer and a devoted servant of the Outer Dark,” by the creator, Flagg is the embodiment of evil. He locks horns with the survivors of the pandemic led by 108-year-old Mother Abigail and Stu Redman in the novel.

James Marsden is expected to play the character of Stu Redman, a former soldier who is immune to the deadly virus. He sets up a quarantine zone for the patients while the authorities plot to extract an antidote for the virus from his body.

In 1994, ABC aired a six-hour miniseries adaptation of the same novel with Gary Sinise, Miguel Ferrer and Rob Lowe playing the lead roles. Directed by Mick Garris from a script written by King, the series also featured the iconic author as a cameo. It brought high ratings and rave reviews for ABC during the mid-90s.

According to Josh Boone, ‘The Stand’ has been a dream project ever since he read the novel at the age of 12. “My Baptist parents burned [the book] in our fireplace upon discovery,” Boone is quoted as saying by THR. “Incensed, I stole my dad’s FedEx account number and mailed King a letter professing my love for his work. Several weeks later, I came home to find a box had arrived from Maine, and inside were several books, each inscribed with a beautiful note from god himself, who encouraged me in my writing and thanked me for being a fan. My parents, genuinely moved by King’s kindness and generosity, lifted the ban on his books that very day. I wrote King a cameo as himself in my first film and have been working to bring ‘The Stand’ to the screen for five years. I’ve found incredible partners in CBS All Access and Ben Cavell. Together with Stephen King, Owen King, my longtime producing partners Knate Lee and Jill Killington, we plan to bring you the ultimate version of King’s masterwork.”

Boone and Cavell also serve as executive producers of ‘The Stand’ along with Roy Lee, Jimmy Miller and Richard P. Rubinstein. Will Weiske and Miri Yoon join the project as co-executive producers while Owen King, who is the son of King, produces.

Cover Image Courtesy: HBO (Westworld).